The opportunities and revenue that a B2B company can achieve when it invests in e-commerce are enormous and range from capturing new business from direct competition, saving time to internal sales teams and reducing order errors, in attracting international business. Every day, a growing number of B2B customers expect to be able to interact with their suppliers whenever and wherever they need it. That’s where e-commerce becomes a key differentiator for your business across the world.
However, when heading towards the e-commerce path, make sure you are asking the right questions to your web design agency. Here is our summary of some of the key questions to which you need answers.
1. What type of B2B companies have you worked with and which one is closest to our business?
You must establish that your potential agency has worked with B2B companies. There is a world of difference between B2C and B2B e-commerce techniques and best practices.
In addition, the web design agency must be able to demonstrate that it will understand your company and its environment. That does not necessarily mean that they must have worked in the specific vertical of their B2B industry, but they must have transferable knowledge obtained in similar sectors or with similar constructions.
2. Who is the biggest customer you have lost in the last year and why?
All agencies lose customers. However, as a new potential customer, you need to investigate the circumstances surrounding recent customer losses and find out why they occurred.
The agency probably won’t wait for this question, so it’s a good idea to give them as little time as possible to get an answer. Do not send it by email, ask it in person or by phone and you are more likely to get an undiluted response.
3. How much of your work involves the development of e-commerce rather than the development of the website?
There are complex issues in e-commerce that do not exist in more traditional Web design and development projects. Once the e-commerce is put online, the customer’s journey becomes much more complicated. It’s not just about coding and development requirements, or back-office functionality and integration with other systems. It is to ensure that everything is also optimized from the beginning. Are calls to action compelling? Does the complexity of your product require rich content in products and data sheets? Do you use dynamic customization to serve the right content and products to the right people at the right time? These are just some of the considerations beyond building a website.
4. On which e-commerce platforms is it based and on which ones do you have more experience?
It may be obvious, but if you know on which platform you want your e-commerce site to be built, then you should partner with an agency specialized in that platform and perhaps with one or two more. That way, you know that your site is going to be built by specialists instead of generalists. However, if your chosen web design agency has experience in one or two other platforms as well, you will be aware of any deficiencies in your chosen platform and may have developed plugins to improve the experience.
5. What is your customer perspective and how do you think eCommerce plays an important role?
When choosing an e-commerce agency and building your e-commerce footprint, you also need to think about your omnichannel buyers. Your B2B customers will not only interact with your website in isolation. They can transition through a variety of communications with their company, from phone calls, emails, face-to-face sales visits, and purchases on their website. Be sure to ask the right questions before making the decision. Working with the right web design agency can make a big difference in the speed and magnitude of your successes. In fact, using the wrong agency could cost you money instead of providing profits.